Monday, February 18, 2013

Craft Beer Night at The Palace

Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All Commentary
By Doctor

It’s NBA All-Star weekend which I understand may not mean much to many of our readers, but it does provide a lead for me to recap my experience at The Palace for the Pistons victory over the San Antonio Spurs last week and the craft beer event.

It was my first Pistons game at the Palace since Joe Dumars, Isaiah Thomas, and Dennis Rodman were on the roster Friday night. I’ve seen more Pistons games at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. then I have on their home court in Auburn Hills. It’s not that I wasn’t a Pistons fan growing up, but living on the West side of the Mitten, we didn’t go to a lot of sporting events in Detroit. We went to more sporting events in East Lansing to watch the Spartans; my dad had Spartan football season tickets growing up.

I was excited to hear that I won tickets to last Friday’s Pistons game against the Spurs via Why was MittenBrew giving away Pistons tickets, you ask? Well, the Pistons were hosting craft beer night in Club 300, that’s why. Therefore thank you to MittenBrew and the Pistons for the tickets, and on to game night.

The "birds eye" view from Club 300 
Tickets included entrance into Club 300 in the Palace, food, and ten tickets for the beer tasting (2 once pours). Club 300 is about as far away from the action on the court you can get in The Palace, but it is a cool place to take in an event at The Palace. It is bookended by a couple of bars, features couches and big screen TV’s, and high top tables to eat and watch the game action.

It was even better since the area was well stocked for the Craft Beer Event. No, not all of the beers were Michigan beers, but that’s OK. Life and beer does exist outside of Michigan. It was a solid and diverse beer and cider line-up regardless of your familiarity of craft beer. Of the ten brews selected, I had three stand outs:
  • North Peak Brewing Company Diabolical IPA – Don’t drink this Traverse City brew enough. Good and hoppy.
  • Leininkugel’s Big Eddy Stout – Favorite of the night, I was really impressed with this full-body stout.
  • Vandermill’s Totally Roasted Hard Cider – This was the surprise of the night. I’ve never had a cider with such a complex flavor profile. Made in Spring Lake, MI, I’m going to be seeking this out.
The Game
No, the Pistons are not very good. They are a young deal trying to recover from bad drafts (Darko, Carlos Delfino, other guys you can’t name) and bad contracts (Charlie Villanueva and smartly traded Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince). The good news is that recent picks Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, and Andre Drummnond (out 4-6 weeks) are all solid NBA players with upside that can form a solid core going forward (particularly Drummond).

It didn’t matter Friday night. The Pistons played arguably their best game of the season winning 119-109. It wasn't that close as the Pistons couldn’t miss (52% from the field/46% from 3), and the Spurs were without Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili. Charlie Villanueva even played well, scoring over 20 points and grabbing a handful of rebounds. I even got to boo Stephen Jackson at The Palace (Jackson and Ron Artest a.k.a. Metta World Peace will always be booed at The Palace - brawl video below the jump).

Overall it was a great night at The Palace although the Tone Loc half-time concert show was disappointing. Good beer, food, great club atmosphere, and a big Pistons victory. I’ll be sure not to let another 20 years pass before my next Pistons game at the Palace.

(click down to watch the Malice at the Palace video)


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